“UGH! I feel like crap!”
Have you said this phrase before? If so, take a moment to evaluate how often you are using this phrase. I find that a lot of people walk around complaining about how miserable they feel and not enough people are walking around talking about how good they feel.
This is a problem, people!!
HOWEVER! This is also something which can be easily worked on as well. See, people usually feel like crap because of everyday decisions they’re making, yet, still struggle to identify WHY they feel crappy. So, I am going to share with you 6 simple reasons you likely feel like crap as well as simple ways to begin making changes towards a healthier, happier lifestyle.
Are there more than 6 reasons you could feel like crap? Absolutely. But I like to keep things simple, and focusing on a few things at a time vs. a bunch of things at once will lead to a stronger likelihood of actual change!
Also, I want to highlight that this post does not pertain to those who are truly suffering from an underlying medical or mental health concern which is truly impairing their daily functioning. There are many reasons people may feel crappy which are truly beyond their control, so please note this post is not intended for anyone who identifies themselves in either of those categories. Working with a medical physician or trained mental health professional is most appropriate in those circumstances.
For anyone else who is simply not feeling their best and knows they need to make changes, start here:
YOU’RE NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER
Now I know this isn’t the first time you’ve read this and I promise you, staying hydrated is going to make a world of difference in your life. It’s not only going to help you physically feel better, but it is also going to help you in other ways too, such as improving your skin, helping with weight management, preventing headaches, flushing out toxins, and improving your mood. The recommended daily amount of water to consume is *typically* eight, 8oz glasses a day, but this of course varies person to person. Before you start to think, “but I don’t like water….” try implementing these easy tips to boost your intake:
-Buy a cute water bottle. Having a cute water bottle is actually going to increase the likelihood of you drinking more water because you’ll be so excited to carry around your water bottle all day! This actually works too, I have about 100 different water bottles because every time I see a new cute one, I feel like I need to have it!
-Try flavor infused waters, such as cucumber, mint, berry, or lemon water. You can buy these already infused or you can infuse them yourself, but play around with the different flavors and see which ones you like best. This will give your water a little something extra if you feel the natural taste is a little blah.
-Set a timer on your phone to go off every hour at work, as a reminder to drink a glass of water!
-Keep water bottles in places you frequent. For example, remember when I said I have about 100 water bottles? Well I have my nightstand water bottle, my office water bottle, my gym water bottle, my car water bottle, etc. Get my drift? If you keep the bottles where you frequent, you’re more likely to drink from them!
YOU’RE NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP
This is another reason I am sure you have heard before because again, its true and there is so much evidence to support its validity. The majority of us are not getting enough sleep. We stay up too late binge watching Netflix or reading “just one more chapter” (if you’re a bookworm like me..) and then before we know it, it’s 2am and we are exhausted…only to get up a few hours later to repeat the cycle all over again (Guilty!)
Getting the proper amount of sleep, (approx. 6-8 hours a night) is going to not only improve your physical health, but your mental health as well. When we don’t get enough sleep, we are more susceptible to illness, irritability, impaired focus and concentration, headaches, and moodiness. It impacts our weight management, our skin, and our relationships. Sleep is important. There is a reason your doctors tell you to rest when you’re getting sick, as it’s going to help your body and your mind heal and regroup. So, how do you incorporate more sleep in your routine?
-Go to bed at a decent time. I know this is hard, especially if you’re used to staying up late, but try to think about how much sleep you require to feel well rested. Then, calculate what time you would need to go to sleep to ensure you get enough shut-eye before your alarm goes off in the morning based on that number. Even if you just get into bed earlier, that’s a start! A lot of people justify staying up late because they have “so much to do,” but if you’re getting enough sleep, you’re going to feel well rested the next day, leading to an even more productive day than if you were sluggish!
-Establish a nightly routine that will make you want to go to bed! For example, maybe treat yourself to a face mask, put on an essential oil diffuser, take a bath, commit to only one episode of your favorite show or only a few chapters of your current book, get some new sheets for your bed that you can’t wait to snuggle into, buy some cute new PJs that you’re excited to wear, make a warm cup of tea, or do an evening meditation to calm and center you before bedtime. There is no right or wrong routine, it’s whatever works best for YOU.
-Track your sleep with an app. There are so many smart watch options, fitbit options, and apps available now, so look into one of these options to track your sleep to see how much sleep you’re actually getting vs. how much you know your body needs.
YOU’RE NOT MOVING YOUR BODY ENOUGH
Movement is directly correlated to your mental and physical health. When we move our body, endorphins are released in our brain which improves our mood. Moving our body helps us sleep better, maintain a healthy weight, improves our immune system and reduces the risk of illness or disease. Moving your body is also a great excuse to take a break out of your hectic day to do something for YOU.
If you are feeling like crap everyday, evaluate how much movement you get. Do you sit at a desk all day? Do you sit in a car all day? Do you take time to work out? If the answer to those questions = not enough movement, here are some helpful ways to increase movement in your daily routine:
-Start each day with some light stretching, even if it’s just 5mins.
-Set alarms at work to remind you to get up and move throughout the day. Even if you just walk around your office or your office building, MOVE! It’s better than doing nothing at all.
-Set a movement goal for yourself as setting goals will increase the likelihood of you actually making a change. Write this goal down, post it to your social media, or tell a friend as all of these things will keep you accountable towards that goal!
-Find a workout buddy! Having a workout buddy is going to increase the likelihood of you actually moving your body more, as it holds you accountable when you have an accountability buddy. Plus, it’s super fun to hang out with one of your friends, while sharing a common wellness goal! Win-win!
-Find a workout which works for you. Not all workouts will work for everyone. So, if you’re someone who rarely gets movement into your day, maybe don’t sign up for a half marathon. Instead, start slow and ease your way into it. Walking around your office daily to start is likely a more attainable goal than training for a marathon. This isn’t to say you won’t get there one day, but for now, be realistic as this will increase the likelihood of you actually doing it. (Also! Be sure to always consult with a physician before starting a workout regimen!)
-Just do it. Your body will “do” before your mind catches up and if you’re waiting until your mind is ready, you’ll be waiting forever and will come up with about 1000 excuses. Like Nike says, Just do it.
YOUR INNER CIRCLE SUCKS
This may sound harsh, but it’s also a strong possibility. Hear me out. Who we spend our time with will greatly impact how we feel. Think about your inner circle. Are they happy, motivated, inspiring, encouraging, and supportive? Or are they dramatic, negative, complaining 24/7, miserable, and always in crisis? If you’re inner circle is comprised of the latter, then no wonder you feel like crap all of the time as that kind of energy is incredibly draining! We become most like the 5 people we spend the most time with. CHOOSE WISELY.
–Really take some time to evaluate your inner circle and see who it is comprised of. Your inner circle may be friends, family, a significant other, etc. but regardless see how these people make you feel, then adjust accordingly is applicable.
YOU’RE NOT DOING THE THINGS YOU ENJOY
It’s true. So much of what we do are the things we feel we *need* to do vs. things we *want* to do. Why? Because society makes us feel badly otherwise. When we spend our time trying to conform to society’s norms or to our friends and family’s expectations of us, we leave out one very important person-> ourselves. If we aren’t putting ourselves and our needs first, then this is going to trickle into how we feel overall. Think about it: Doing something you enjoy = happiness. Doing something you don’t enjoy = unhappiness. It’s really that simple.
-Write down all of the things you enjoy doing. Next, write down all of the things you actually do on a daily basis. Compare those lists. Are they similar or vastly different? If vastly different, make the appropriate adjustments. There is no rule saying you can’t do the things you want to do except for the rule we set ourselves with this ridiculous limit.
-Doing the things you enjoy doesn’t need to = BIG things. My enjoyment list would include traveling abroad or going to the spa, but can I do these things on a daily basis? No. Think of simpler things such as giving yourself time to stop at your favorite coffee shop each day, going for a nice walk on a trail or path you enjoy, having a dance party to your favorite music artist while blasting the music while you cook dinner, playing with your kids, snuggling with your fur-babies, or wearing fuzzy socks!
-Stop feeling badly about wanting to feel good. Isn’t it bad enough you feel like crap all of the time? And I hate to break it to you, but you feel this way more than likely because of choices you’re making. So, STOP. Make a change, break the cycle, and do more of what you enjoy.
YOU’RE EATING LIKE CRAP
You are what you eat, so if your daily food intake is comprised of foods with little to no nutritional value, you’re going to feel like crap. Now, I get it, foods that are bad for us usually taste oh so good, are cheap, and are super convenient when we are busy, busy, busy!
If you’re starting your mornings off with a super sweet and sugary coffee, in addition to a bacon egg and cheese, followed by pizza for lunch, some sugary snacks during the day, followed by greasy takeout for dinner, it’s no secret why you feel like crap. In addition to feeling like crap, you are likely feeling sluggish, fatigued, have skin concerns, and perhaps struggle with weight management as well.
Change your diet, change your mood. I’m not saying you have to immediately go vegan or gluten-free and make a drastic lifestyle change. Instead, I am encouraging you to make some small changes each day towards a healthier, happier lifestyle.
-Eat your colors! Incorporate more fruits and veggies into your daily diet by eating your colors!
-Aim for one healthy meal choice a day. Instead of the bacon, egg, and cheese for breakfast, perhaps you opt for a smoothie instead. Maybe instead of ordering a pepperoni pizza you get a veggie pizza instead. Or, maybe instead of a sugary snack on your break you have a fruit salad. Small changes = big results.
-Cut down on sugar, carbs, gluten, dairy, and processed foods. There is so much evidence to support the negative effects of these foods in our diet, many of which conclude they actually make you feel like crap. Try to limit the amount of foods you consume which fall into these categories and keep track of how you feel along the way.
–Cut down your caffeine intake. As much as you believe you NEED caffeine to survive, you really don’t. There are tons of ways to gain energy by what you put into your body and caffeine doesn’t need to be one of those ways. Caffeine can actually make you feel pretty crappy. I know, I know, how dare I talk about your precious coffee like this but it’s true. Do some research around this, I bet the results will surprise you.
–Stop drinking soda. Honestly, nothing good comes from drinking soda, so just don’t. Drink a seltzer instead.
–See a nutritionist. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to nutrition, so the best way to ensure you are doing what is best for YOUR body is to consult with a professional who can appropriately evaluate your needs based on your overall health and wellness.
Guys, I am telling you that it really is as simple as implementing some of these small changes into your daily routine to begin to notice positive changes in how you feel. People are often surprised at how easy it is to make effective changes in their lives, as they are almost waiting for some big and magical “fix” when in reality, there is no magic or secret here, it’s honestly just lifestyle changes.
Small, manageable, yet EFFECTIVE, lifestyle changes. And you know what? These are the HARDEST to make because we tend to overlook the simplicity of it and convince ourselves there must be more to it. There’s not. If you’re someone who feels like crap everyday, start small and implement a few of these tips into your routine at a time. Once you do them enough, it becomes habitual which then leads to becoming part of your everyday routine.
You deserve to feel good, but that change needs to start with YOU.
I would LOVE to know what spoke to you today and encourage you to comment below and share with me! If you loved what you read, be sure to subscribe to my blog to be the first to get new posts!
If you are interested in learning more about my therapy services, check out my website HERE. Seeking mental health services can be daunting and if you are finding my posts resonate with you, it is likely you are feeling ready to take that next step to work on leading a happier, healthier life! I would LOVE to support you in starting this journey and welcome you to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALSO! Check out my FREE “How Do I know If Therapy Is Right For Me” printable to start the process of deciding whether or not taking this next step is right for YOU! Just add your name + email address below and you will receive an email with a link to your FREEBIE!